Three novelettes were among my favorite stories. John Barnes’s "Rod Rapid and His Electric Chair" (January) is a very mordantly funny send up of a Tom Swift-like series of books and the racist and fascist views expressed therein. Also from January, "The Narcomancer", by N. K. Jemisin, tells of a man who brings peace to those who need it by easing their way to death -- at considerable personal cost. "The Snake’s Wife", by Ann Leckie (October) is a story of dynastic struggles between two regions in a fantastical world, and also as legitimately shocking as any Helix story so far. It's a story of war, forced marriage, mutilation, and revenge: ultimately suggesting that the promises of gods may come true but ought to regarded with great suspicion. Other particularly strong novelettes came from William Sanders and from Jennifer Pelland.
Of the short stories I liked Esther Friesner’s sharply satirical "A Sacred Institution" (July), in which a slimy politician marries his dog but runs into trouble when aliens show up who demand that promises like marriage be kept. And N. K. Jemisin’s "The Brides of Heaven" (July), set on a harsh alien world in which an Islamic colony seems doomed because all their male colonists died in an accident, until one colonist decides that true obedience to God requires a particular, chilling, solution. And Robert Reed's "The Hoplite" (April) is an effective and dark variation on the "eternal soldier" theme. Other good short stories came from Sara Genge, Vylar Kaftan, Michael Payne, Samantha Henderson, and Jay Lake.
Indeed, on looking over the magazine's sum of stories I am again impressed -- there is a lot of nice work here.
Yeah, baby. I've gotten quite a bit of love for Pretty Little Thing. I think Helix has done a great job getting good work and putting it out there and I am glad that Clapping for the Fairies has landed me a second publication in this ezine.